Travel Theme: Round

Round reflections.



Where’s My Backpack Weekly Travel Theme: Round

Posted in Miscellany | 2 Comments

Literate Your Art Blog Hop

For the second year in a row, I’ve participated in Kat Sloma’s Liberate Your Art postcard swap. Kat’s intention is for creators to share their art. It is a blast. It’s always a litte bit intimidated about sharing Myers

Here are the postcards I received:

From Nancy Jean:


From Susan in California:


From Debbie in the UK:


From Paul in Tennessee:


From Izzy in New Jersey , who participated with her sister & Mom:


And from Kat:


Check out other participants:

Posted in Art, Blogging | Tagged | 13 Comments


As a child, I disliked the grape hyacinths that popped up each spring in my mother’s garden.  I thought that they were misshapen, ugly things.  That there were only a few a them, seemingly randomly dispersed through the beds only added to my dislike. At least, I thought, they were adjacent to the air conditioner where nobody would easily notice them. My grandfather, who lovingly tended my mother’s garden — and often the neighbors as well — tried to transplant them, increase them, and lastly, to remove the stragglers. But, he understood, that volunteers can be stubborn. Those three or four bulbs were determined to bloom where they were planted and were unwilling to accept others into their ranks. That spot was, apparently, their perfect home.

As an adult, I have a different view of hyacinths.  I’ve never planted any and I suspect that the ones that bloom in my yard may have been planted by the previous homeowner but in a different locale.   There used to be some that bloomed regularly near the house, in a bed that was destroyed 10 years ago during a renovation.  Perhaps the few that I have were tossed into the woods during the digging.  Perhaps they were transported by a squirrel who either forgot where he planted his treasure or spit them out once he realized they were not as tasty as the tulips.

Every Spring I look towards the top of the hill for those first signs of the oddly shaped spears of purple and white that will lean with their top-heavy weight once the blossoms open.  In a few weeks they will be gone, their stalks hidden by the vinca and the honeysuckle and shaded by the maple and hickory trees.

But, for now, they are the imperfect, colorful stars standing out in a continually greening landscape.  Wabi-sabi.   Beauty.  For the soul.

Beauty for the soul

Beauty for the soul

Linking with Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday. This week’s theme: Perfectly Imperfect.  Follow the link to see some great artwork.

This photo was shot with a 60mm lens, at f4, 1/2000 sec,  ISO 1600.  The image has been layered with Kim’s texture “Gentle Whisper” at 10% soft light.

Posted in Miscellany | 5 Comments

For the Love of….SPRING!

It started raining this afternoon a minute or two after I stepped outside with my camera to capture a few shots of the daffodils which are finally starting to bloom.  And you know what?  It smelled like a Spring rain.   So wonderful!

Spring, flowers, daffodils

Daffodil with raindrop

Minor adjustments to vibrancy set in Lightroom, and gradient filter applied to lighten left side of background.  (I love using the gradient filter tool now that I’ve learned how!) Textured with one layer of Kim Klassen’s kk_rest_magic texture, blend mode screen, opacity 80%, brushed completely off flower and additional brushing at a very low opacity (12%)  to reduce effect  over the background.

Linking up with Kim’s Textured Tuesday today.

Posted in Flowers | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Travel Theme: Misty

Ailsa’s theme this week is “Misty”.   Yesterday was a perfect day for shooting “misty” photos:  cold, grey, rainy.   I went for a long walk in the sometimes drizzle and took lots of photos.  But the best one for “misty” was one I captured in my driveway when I returned home.

Misty, Reflection, Travel Theme


The old saying is “April Showers bring May flowers”.  I certainly hope so — and that we don’t have to wait until May — because it has been a long, grey winter and we need some blooming color. I’ve found myself recently humming a song from the musical Mame with a slight rewriting of the lyrics:  “We need a little Springtime. Right this very minute. We need a little Springtime now!


Posted in Photo | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Bloom & Bottle

Bloom, kk_cherish, Kim Klassen, Texture Tuesday

Bloom & Bottle

Linking with Kim Klassen’s Café for Textured Tuesday.   Used one layer of Kim’s kk_cherish texture, using blend mode of Overlay, 50% opacity, removed from bloom & bottle, to add a little bit of color to foreground and background.

Posted in Flowers | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Travel Theme: Statues Take II

As I noted in my post on Friday, I thought of lots of options for Ailsa’s Travel Theme.   This one was the runner-up, so I thought I would post it today.

Stravinsky Fountain, Centre Pompidou, Paris

Stravinsky Fountain, Centre Pompidou, Paris

This is one of several sculptures in the Stravinsky Fountain in Paris.  Located adjacent to the Centre Pompidou, it is a colorful fountain containing the works of Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle.   The first time I saw this about 14 years ago, I was surprised by the water in fountain.  I had expected it to be well cared for,  with clean, clear water and not moss-filled.  But, this is how the artists wanted the fountain.  You can read more about the sculpture here.  It’s a fun place to pause for a few moments on a stroll through Paris.


Posted in Art | Tagged , ,

Travel Theme: Statues or…. Balzac!

Although I’ve always appreciated the work of painters, it’s only been in recent years that I’ve started appreciating the work of sculptors.  When I saw that Ailsa’s Travel Theme for the week was statues, in one second I knew what I wanted to post, though  in seconds two, three, four…ten, I thought of several others.

My husband and I have a this thing whenever one of us is in NYC without the other.  If we happen to go to MOMA, we text a picture of Rodin’s Monument to Balzac.  For years it was in the lobby, but has also been displayed in the garden.

Here is one of the casts of Rodin’s famous sculpture, located in the gardens of Musée Rodin (one of my favorite places in Paris). It was quite controversial when Rodin unveiled his plaster study. His commission for the work was cancelled and the statue was never cast during Rodin’s lifetime. Today, it is considered to be one of the first works of modern sculpture.

Balzac, Rodin, Garden, Paris

Monument to Balzac, Musée Rodin

In January, while vacationing in SW Florida, on one of the rare days we dragged ourselves off the beach, we made an excursion to the Naples Botanical Garden.  It was much chillier than we had anticipated and T quickly decided that he wanted to cut short his walk and wait inside in the warmth.  With camera in hand and lots of pretty things to shoot, I pretended to not care about the cold and wandered off towards Asian Garden where I wanted to take pictures of the Java-inspired ruins.

But, as I entered the gardens, I noticed that the groundskeepers were beginning to cover several plants to protect them from the predicted frost that evening.  With large Cristo-like sheeting, several plants and trees were shrouded.   Although I wondered what those trees were and what was hidden underneath, I couldn’t help but find the unintentional statues compelling to look at.

When I saw this one, I knew I had to take a picture.   I wasn’t anywhere near MOMA, but I immediately thought:  BALZAC!

Naples Botanical Garden,

Modern Sculpture?

Posted in Art | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflection

Yesterday, I took my first walk this Spring (as opposed to my last walk of winter last week) along the Greenway Trail near my home.  It still looks a lot like winter, but everywhere you go, there are the tiniest hints of Spring’s arrival.   The first shot I took — one that I won’t be able to take in a few months as the growth along the creekbanks will obscure this particular view — was of the creek and the beautiful reflections of the trees.   Perfect for this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.


Late Afternoon Reflection

Fall Creek is bigger than most “creeks” around here, but it isn’t as big as a river, at least during parts of the year.  When the snow began to melt a few weeks ago, you couldn’t even walk on the paved trail, which is several yards away from the creek.  The water has receded now, but there are plentiful signs that the area was recently flooded.

Creek, water, Fall Creek Greenway

After The Water Receded

But, I didn’t have to walk very far before I saw the first buds on trees:

Silver Maple Awakening

Silver Maple Awakening

Just beginning

Just beginning

On the walk back home, I snapped a quick shot of the roadway, and then a few in my yard.  Again, from a distance it still looks dreary, but slowly, imperceptibly, Spring is awakening.

Roadside Slumber

Roadside Slumber

The first daffodils peaking their heads above the ground.

The first daffodils peaking their heads above the ground.

Snowdrop & Leaf:  Old &  New

Snowdrop & Leaf: Old & New

As Thoreau wrote in Walden, They were pleasant spring days, in which the winter of man’s discontent was thawing as well as the earth, and the life that had lain torpid began to stretch itself.”

Look carefully:  don’t miss Spring’s early stretches.

Posted in Nature | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Travel Theme: Pink Lost Azaleas and Found Cherry Blossoms

As soon as I saw Ailsa’s post this morning announcing that this week’s theme was PINK, I knew exactly what I was going to post.   About a month ago, I bought a rather tired looking azalea in the sales bin at the grocery store.   With a little bit of water and sunlight, it blossomed into a glorious crown of pink within a few days.  It was the perfect subject for playing around with the 50mm lens I received as a holiday gift in December.  I hadn’t used it much and just wanted an opportunity to shoot lots of different angles to explore the limits of the lens.   And that is exactly what I did.

But that azalea plant is not what I am posting today.

I went to my Lightroom catalog and searched for the keyword “pink“.  Sure enough, there they were — about 50 unedited photos of that azalea.  I scrolled through them and decided which one I was going to choose:  a close up, with a large window in the background that not only allowed ample light into the frame but also — if you looked closely — showed just how cold and snowy it was on February 19th.  (And every other day between Jan 2 and Mar 16 here in India-snow-opolis.)  But, when I went to edit it, LR told me that it couldn’t find the original.  What?   I copy all of my photos to a hard drive when I import them.  I never move them, mostly because I’ve never bothered to figure out how to do that without messing up the LR catalog.

I clicked on the button to search.  Nothing came up on my external hard drive where I store my raw photos.   I switched to my hard drive.  A hit!   But, wait: that thumbnail didn’t look like the right photo.  I clicked on the thumbnail to take a look, but I apparently double-clicked.   LR immediately thought the photo was the one I was seeking.

What I got instead was a photo I shot last April in the New York Botanical Gardens.   I had spent a lovely afternoon walking through the gardens with my cousin and dear friend Catherine.   At various times, we stopped along our walk to sit on benches and read.  Other times, Catherine read and I wandered with my camera.   That day was bit chilly but very sunny.   All of the magnolias were in bloom as were the cherry trees.  The NYBG is a wonderful oasis in  the city and a place one shouldn’t miss if you’re in the area; it is well worth the trip to the Bronx.

How lucky was I that I accidentally replaced a photo of a pink flower with another photo of pink flowers?   I would still like to know how to get those azalea photos back into my catalog, but I fear that is a lost cause since I can’t find them on any of my drives.   Why is it that LR can give me a good thumbnail of that photo, but I can’t actually get to that photo?   If you know how, please enlighten me.

On the other hand, sometimes when things go wrong, you get them right despite your mistakes.  This is a perfect photo for this week’s Travel Theme.   If you’ve read this, you’ve read long enough.  Here is my photo for PINK.   Isn’t Spring grand?   Can’t wait to see pink and purple and all of the other wonderful Spring colors in my neck of the woods.  Should be in just a few weeks.

Cherry Blossoms, NY Botanical Gardens, NYC, April, 2013

Cherry Blossoms, NY Botanical Gardens, NYC, April, 2013

Be sure to check out how others have interpreted Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Theme.   Here are a few examples.  You can find more by clicking on the link to Where’s My Backpack.
Traveling pink | Le Drake Noir
Travel Theme: Pink | That Montreal Girl
Travel Theme : Pink | Retirement and beyond
Negril Sunset | Jaspa’s Journal
In the pink in Maine and Massachusetts | Tish Farrell
Travel Theme: Pink | Wind Against Current
Travel theme: Pink | Figments of a DuTchess
Travel theme:Pink | So where’s the snow?
The Pink Granite Coast | Foto Challenge

Posted in Flowers | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments